When Sales And Marketing Aren’t Aligned, Both Suffer

by MR Magazine Staff

A Fortune 250 B2B company spent a quarter of a million dollars trying to solve the wrong problem. A new product line had failed, and the company believed the problem was either poor product delivery times or lack of effort by the sales force. After throwing millions at both problems, they finally realized what the real issue was: misaligned goals between marketing and sales. The product line was priced to grow market share, yet the sales force compensation was structured to incentivize salespeople based on profit margin maximization. As a result, the frustrated sales force focused efforts on selling other products in which the goals were more aligned. This company isn’t alone. Marketing and sales departments often set their strategies, and goals, separately from each other. Our research on B2B sales management found that in particular, a common problem is lack of alignment around product pricing and sales force compensation strategies. This both demotivates salespeople and inadvertently encourages them to sacrifice company profits to meet their own goals. Read more at Harvard Business Review.